Twins sign No. 1 pick, right-hander Alex Wimmers

Alex Wimmers is eager to get his pro career started with the

Minnesota Twins.

The Twins signed their first-round pick in this June’s draft, a

right-hander from Ohio State, to a $1,332,000 bonus Friday night

minutes before Minnesota took the field for the first game of a

three-game series against the Cleveland Indians.

”I just wanted to sign and get things going,” Wimmers said on

a conference call from Minneapolis. After signing, he was headed

home to Cincinnati and is to report to the Fort Myers Miracle of

the Class A Florida State League on Sunday.

”We are thrilled to have Alex on board,” scouting director

Deron Johnson said in a statement issued by the Twins. ”He fits

the mold that we like. He has four pitches that he can throw for

strikes, including a great changeup. He throws strikes, and pitches

with no fear.”

Wimmers has been compared to former Twins ace Brad Radke, who

pitched 12 seasons through 2005 for Minnesota. Radke relied on

sharp control of off-speed pitches to compile a 148-139 record for

Minnesota including a 20-10 mark in 1997.

Wimmers went 9-0 with a 1.60 ERA as a junior this spring for the

Buckeyes. He pitched the first nine-inning no-hitter in school

history and had 86 strikeouts and 23 walks in 73 innings, not

allowing a home run.

The 21-year-old, selected No. 21 overall, said he simply let his

advisers handle negotiations while he tried to stay in shape by

working out.

Wimmers’ innings were limited somewhat by a hamstring injury

this season, but he said he is completely healthy.

”I can’t wait to get back on the mound,” he said. ”I

definitely feel I have the stuff to pitch at the major league

level.”

Mike Leake, the Cincinnati Reds’ top pick a year ago at No. 8

overall, went directly from college to the majors this season.

Chris Sale, picked No. 13 overall this June, was called up

Wednesday by the Chicago White Sox after pitching 10 1-3 innings in

the minors and is expected to make his big league debut soon.